Flying in early yesterday morning, I pressed my nose to the window enjoying the view from the plane. It was the first time I've flown into Iowa. All other times were by car. It looked remarkably like North Dakota- squared off farmland, in shades of tan this time of year. A stretch of river. A lake. The flat horizon sparsely populated by trees. Mostly a bunch of blue sky. I liked it.
Trudging from the gate to the exit overburdened by heavy carry-ons, I noticed the security checkpoint and continued walking, wondering how far it was to the exit and where my mom would be waiting for me. I saw a large group of people on the right, kept walking, then did a double-take- it was Mom, Chuck, Molly, Hazel, Claire and Lily! All there. I didn't even know I'd left the terminal. Lily and Claire ran up right away. Then the braver Lily gave me a hug with Claire behind her, followed by hugs from everyone. Then Claire snuck up again, grabbed my left hand and kissed it. We all walked out to the mini-van, seven of us strapped in, me between two car seats in the back row. It was a full load. The sun shone down, and we got home to North Liberty within twenty minutes.
Later that day, we participated in a Halloween costume party. Originally just the girls were dressing up, but when I tried on my costume I borrowed from Auntie Carrie, they wanted me to wear it too (had to talk myself into it a bit). It was pretty fun. The dress was uber-short and when I was trying to get Claire out of her car seat, I said "I think I might be flashing people." Lily jumped up and yelled, "I'm blocking you! I'm blocking you!" It was quite a sight, I'm sure. I appreciated the effort.
Last night Lily tried to stay over, and was very sweet, laying in bed, holding my hand. She did very good actually, but at about 9:20 ended up having to go home. The phone rang and she was still squirming around a bit and decided maybe she wanted to be by her mommy. There were a few tears, and grandma drove her home, telling her that she had to pick up Molly at all hours of the night for many years, and it was no big deal. Josh was happy to see her home, having just arrived himself after a night of call. I was actually pretty tired after two hours of sleep the night before on the red-eye, and crashed immediately again, and didn't wake up for nine hours.
This morning, Claire came over and played with us. Little Claire is the old Czech lady, and washed dishes by hand with her sleeves rolled up. She toodles around the house keeping busy and hanging out playing with herself wherever we were sitting, dragging in whatever toys she wanted to play with. I sliced up an Asian pear Auntie Carrie sent and she liked it. Later Molly and crew came over for a bit and they went home when everyone was too tired to play anymore.
So far so good. Justin is on the road, and will hopefully be here on Wednesday. We plan to have a big early birthday party for him.